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Tuesday
Dec142010

New York

New Amsterdam Theatre (photo by Andreas Praefcke) – wikipedia.comI love living in a small town. It's where I was meant to be.

I also love big cities but I prefer to enjoy them as a tourist and not as a resident. There is an undeniable energy that is infectious. The architecture fascinates me. The food overwhelms my senses. And the unpredictable nature of it all keeps me coming back for more. I feel it the most when I stand still and close my eyes. There's no denying the buzz that rushes around you in all directions. In all of that craziness, being that vulnerable is exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time.

I've never been to NYC but you can bet it's on my life list. There are so many things I would love to see. My camera wouldn't get much of a rest, except when my shutter finger developed an agonizing blister, maybe then. I can't even predict what it would be like and that's where most of the fun lies.

Even more than wanting to visit NYC, I would love to visit the hundred-year-old version of NYC. That experience would blow my mind. Too bad I can't add it to the life list. Can you believe the top image and the bottom image are of the same thing? More often than not, progress makes me sad and I wish I could turn back the clock. I guess that's just what kind of person I am. When I look at the image below and remark on the differences from the one above I see space, design, inviting staircases, tasteful window displays and an overall lack of bombardment, visual and audible. I even love how it shows a difference in the world of photography. The photo had such a long exposure that the people are blurry and almost invisible. It's a completely different experience.

I'm starting to sound contradictory but right where the two paths cross is the spot that makes me fall in love with it all. The then and the now and the millions of people moving in a million directions telling a million different stories. And I fall head over heels.

New Amsterdam Theatre courtesy of Shorpy.com

Sunday
Dec122010

Turning 37

The Good News
I really thought I was turning 38 this year. Staying the same age for another year is a pretty good present.

The Bad News
Forgetting how old I am is just another sign that I am getting older.

Monday
Dec062010

Christmas Countdown

We used to have a tiny Christmas calendar. It was absurdly small. It had 25 tiny felt bags tied with teeny, tiny pieces of ribbon. My gigantic, human-sized fingers could barely fill each tiny sac with the three jellybeans it would take to stuff them full. With all of the fumbling involved in trying to erect the silly thing every year, it didn't take long for the ribbons to fray. That was the end of the tiny calendar. I wasn't sorry.

We went for a few years without a replacement. The girls would ask about it every year and although I had good intentions to make a new one, it just never happened.

This year, finally, I made good on the promise. We now have a Christmas calendar that doesn't require mouse intervention. I had this idea of making a calendar with clues to the location of the treat instead of just the treat. I thought it would be more fun that way. After all, earning a treat is often more rewarding than the treat itself. This way I don't have to hide the treat until the day and it can be anything from candy to an experience or anything in between.

I love Christmas traditions. I also really love making new ones.

Thursday
Dec022010

One Year Ago Today

In a car full of dreams and whatever else we could fit
We arrived in our new town and
A house we'd only seen for an hour, six months earlier, became our home.

If you don't count leaving family and friends behind,
it was the best decision we ever made.

Wednesday
Dec012010

Letterpress Gang

I found them! Or should I say, they found me? Shortly after launching my new website, Andrea, a member of the Letterpress Gang in Halifax, emailed me to let me know about their Monday night meetings. A small group of dedicated letterpress printers of all backgrounds and levels of experience meet on Monday nights at 6:00 at the site of the old Dawson Printshop on the NSCAD campus. They're always happy to have new people show up so I went this past Monday to meet everyone and see what they're up to.

It turns out they're a busy bunch. They're currently getting ready for the Holiday Printers' Bazaar that will feature a delightful mix of hand-printed and often hand-set cards, calendars and other paper goods. If you happen to be in Halifax on Saturday, December 11 you should head over there and check it out. It will be open from noon until 5:00pm. They have a lot of big plans so I'm sure if you can't make it this time, there will be plenty of other opportunities.

I'm feeling really lucky to have found some other letterpress fanatics. Everyone is friendly and full of ideas and they're busy pouring them out onto paper. It's my kind of place but I knew that as soon as I walked in the door. The first thing I saw was the Underwood typewriter. I'm a sucker for old machinery. Walking a little further I was met by smiling faces, friendly handshakes, paper, presses, type, more type, colour and ideas. It felt a lot like opening up the door when you arrive at a surprise party. It was overwhelming in the best possible way.